December 15, 2020
Mr. Abdulhamit Gül
Minister of Justice
06659 Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 419 33 70
Dear Minister Gül:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We are writing to express our serious concern over the ongoing aftermath of the “Peace Petition” put forth by the Academics for Peace (AfP) almost five years ago, as detailed by the recent report by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) entitled “Academics for Peace: Report on the Current Situation” published in August 2020. Despite the Constitutional Court of Turkey ruling more than a year ago that the signers were within their rights to freedom of expression when they signed it, these academics as well as many other academics across Turkey have remained dismissed from their universities, in legal limbo, and/or have arbitrary restrictions on their passports.
There are still a number of cases which are pending before first instance courts. These academics suffer from tremendous health problems, not to mention losses in their professional careers, resulting from their traumatic experiences dealing with the actions of the SoE Inquiry Commission. While the Constitution of Turkey only allows for the restriction of citizens’ right to travel abroad based on a RULING by a judge, many applications for passports have been arbitrarily delayed or rejected.
We urge you to take all steps necessary to ensure that academic freedom, freedom of thought, and freedom of expression are thoroughly protected in Turkey’s colleges and universities.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists, Inc.
Ambassador Serdar Kiliç
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
2525 Massachusetts Avenue. NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 1-202-612-6700 OR 202-612-6701
Fax: 1-202-612 -6744
Minister of National Education (Mili Egitim Bakanligi Ozel Kalem)
Mudurlugu Ataturk Bulvari N°98, D-Blok, 2. Kat 06648 Bakanlıklar,
Phone: +90 312 419 14 10
Council of Higher Education (Yükseköğretim Kurulum)
Üniversiteler Mh., 1600. Cad. No:10, 06800 Çankaya
Phone: +90 312 298-7000
Fax: +90 312 266-4759
The Honorable Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520